PALO ALTO, Calif., and AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, August 26 -- Agendia BV announced it has selected Agilent Technologies Inc.'s custom microarrays as the platform for its cancer research, with the aim of validating the technology for potential clinical and diagnostic applications. Agendia is a diagnostic services company in the Netherlands that is developing the first microarray-based diagnostic test to predict the aggressiveness of breast cancer tumors based on the activity of key genes.
Agendia was formed by researchers from the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) in Amsterdam who co-authored a set of landmark studies reported last year in the New England Journal of Medicine and Nature. NKI, together with Rosetta Inpharmatics, a subsidiary of Merck & Co. Inc., conducted the original breast cancer research using custom microarrays from Agilent Technologies and archived tissue samples. In these studies, researchers identified gene expression signature patterns that correlate to aggressive tumors and to tumors less likely to spread. The study concluded that while further research is necessary, gene expression information has the potential to help physicians determine which patients may benefit from follow-up chemotherapy and which patients could possibly forego it, thereby reducing the amount of unnecessary adjuvant chemotherapy.
Agendia plans to independently develop microarray-based tests for various diseases based on gene expression profiles. Microarray technologies are not currently approved for diagnostic use in the US. Agendia will handle the microarray analysis of all samples in the Netherlands.
"Agilent works closely with leading researchers to supply microarrays that are useful for the identification of gene expression patterns for various diseases," said Barney Saunders, vice president of Agilent's BioResearch Solutions unit. "With our 'quick-turn' ink-jet manufacturing technology, we can create microarrays that reflect the latest in genetic knowledge and can be affordably customized to incorporate new or proprietary information. This, combined with the exquisite sensitivity of Agilent's 60-mer microarrays and scanner, is helping researchers look even more closely at the gene expression patterns associated with disease."
For more information, visit: www.agendia.com